It was a Wednesday, and the next Solano lunch spot on the list was Kathmandu. Outside, the open sign was not lit up, but the posted hours didn’t say anything about being closed on Wednesday, so I tried the door, which was unlocked. It was dark inside, and nobody was in the dining room. Walking toward the kitchen, I called out to see if anyone was back there. A filled trash bag sat on the floor of the kitchen, and the back door was propped open, but nobody answered. It was kind of spooky, and I was too hungry to investigate further anyway. So this is another mystery that may never be solved…
Next door is Lao Thai Kitchen, so we went there instead. This was the third Thai place I’d been to on Solano, and I wanted to see how it compared. The first thing that struck me about the place was how quiet it was. No music. And there was only one other table of diners there for lunch. The next thing I noticed was how rough around the edges everything looked. Handwritten signs were taped to the windows, and a safe appeared to be secured to the wall with duct tape. No corporate menus or fancy food trends here.
There was one man who seated us, served us, and cleared away our plates. He was somewhat elderly and his energy level was extremely low. He spoke as if he might slip into a coma at any moment. But he managed fine. The only clue that anyone else worked there was a woman’s voice emanating from the kitchen in a tone that sounded somewhat bossy, but of course I have no idea what she was saying since I speak neither Thai nor Lao.
I was disappointed when our waiter told me they were out of Thai iced coffee, but I’m sure I didn’t need all those calories anyway. We shared an order of fresh spring rolls, which I thought were quite good. Dave’s spicy basil chicken smelled wonderful when it arrived a few minutes later. And it was pretty good. The problem, I think, was that because Dave is trying to limit his carbs these days, so he passed on the rice. I believe had he ordered it with rice, the sauce wouldn’t have seemed too salty or spicy. So I blame Dave.
My pad thai came a good eight minutes later. I just kept eating the spring rolls while Dave ate his entrée. (I ate more than half, but Dave wasn’t that hungry anyway.) My dish was good. It wasn’t gloppy like pad thai can sometimes be. I would have liked some chopped peanuts on top, though.
I ran out of water briefly, but our waiter refilled it without my having to ask for it.
I totally forgot to check out the bathroom, and for that I apologize.
Lao Thai Kitchen is not going to be featured in a glossy food magazine any time soon, but the food was good, the service was satisfactory, and the place looked clean. I personally found the homemade touches kind of endearing. And if quiet is what you crave, this might be the place you want.